Since Chad gave me crap about not taking pictures of me sinking in the mud on the golf course, I’ve decided to do the next best thing, and that’s take pictures of the golf clubs post-cleaning.
Okay, I keep typing “Gold” instead of “Golf.” Anyway, I got this set about a year ago at Dunham’s for under $100. It’s a Wilson men’s beginner set. I’ve had several amateur but accomplished golfers tell me that it’s a very good set to learn with.
- Driver (1)
- Fairway Wood (3)
- Fairway Iron (Hybrid 4)
- Fairway Irons (5-6)
- Approach Irons (7-8)
- Utility Iron (9)
- Pitching Wedge (P)
- Sand Wedge (S)
The woods (1 and 3) both have graphite shafts painted orange. The other clubs (hybrid, irons, and putter) all have aluminum shafts. Graphite allows for greater flex and therefore more energy transfer.
The purpose of the driver is to hit the ball off of the tee. It is never used for anything else. I shoot about 265-290 yards with the driver.
The 3-wood is used for shorter tee shots, in place of the driver. It’s also used for long fairway shots (strategic shots around obstacles). I shoot about 230-260 yards with the 3-wood.
Hybrid clubs are recent golf innovations. This sort has the head of a wood with the angle, shaft, and grip of an iron. You swing it like an iron and it hits like a wood. The numbering system for hybrids is odd – they match the iron they replace and are one less than the wood they replace. This hybrid 4, therefore, replaces a 4-iron and 5-wood.
I shoot 190-225 yards with a hybrid 4.
Irons are possibly the most useful fairway clubs. They’re also the most unimpressive and under appreciated clubs. They don’t have the impressive distance or nice woosh-snap! of the woods. But developing a deep understanding of the dynamics of irons (especially utility irons) can be very rewarding in terms of working the late fairway and green approach.
I still have a degree of difficulty achieving decent accuracy with the 5 and 6 irons. They’re useful for long fairway shots.
I know there’s a word for this hollow-backed iron style. But I don’t know what that word is.
My irons, even the long irons like this one, are pretty wide-soled when compared to even slightly older sets like my grandmother’s.
Wedges are wide-soled, low-angled irons that are designed for very short shots. The Pitching Wedge is used for short, low-angled direct pitch shots and also short, high-angled chip shots. It’s very useful and I can’t think of a more versatile club.
The stated purpose of a Sand Wedge is to lift the ball almost straight up and out of sand traps with very short swings. But it’s a bit more useful than that – since I don’t have a gap wedge, I use the Sand Wedge as a very low-angled pitching wedge for very short chip shots.
The putter is the only club that is 100% required to be in your golf bag. You will not be allowed to play on any public golf course without one. While it’s technically legal (though very ill-advised) to play an entire round of golf with only a putter, it’s the only club you are allowed to use once the ball is on the green.
Modern putters have a weighted back to aid in even swings and proper follow-through.
The driver is in the top compartment with the 3-wood and 4-hybrid on either side of it. The middle row has all the irons, from left to right: 5 & 6, 7 & 8, and 9 & Pitching Wedge. The bottom compartment has the Sand Wedge and Putter.
Occasionally, I borrow my grandmother’s chipper, an unweighted putter with iron-like grooves on the face, used for very short chip shots. My grandmother loves the chipper and has made many a birdie by chipping in from the fairway with it.
Once, to be a smartass, I borrowed my grandmother’s Ladies’ 7-wood. It’s not common to find a Men’s 7-wood but they do appear regularly in Ladies’ sets. She had been complaining that the loft on the 7-wood wasn’t high enough. Just to prove a point, I swung her 7-wood for 210 yards and then told her that I didn’t have a problem getting loft off of the club. Don’t be fooled: She’s a state championship golfer with 60 years of playing under her belt and cases full of first-place trophies from major amateur tournaments. She can kick my ass around the course and back multiple times when it comes to golf. She’s been teaching me all her tricks.